French bread, in my book, is fun to make. Not only do you get to play with the dough like you used to do with play-dough ( or in some people’s case, still do. No, I did not say I did! I was simply referring to other people who may like to use their childrens art supplies as if they were their own. I would personally never do such a thing. ), but it also always comes out so pretty! It’s golden and crunchy on top but soft in the middle. A wonderful baking experience. And an even more wonderful eating experience. I love to eat. Especially bread. These no bread diets that go around just sound painful to me! So I don’t do them. Ever. And that makes me happy! See, it’s a good thing all around, this french bread!
This recipe is out of my 1930’s Betty Crocker Cookbook and has never failed me.
French bread – If you are diabetic and need to know, each loaf has 397 carbs
1 1/4 C. warm water 3 T. Shortening
1 1/2 tsp. salt 4 C. flour
3 T. sugar
1 pack or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
- In a large bowl combine warm water, yeast, salt, and sugar. Stir until dissolved.
- Now add the shortening and the flour.
- Mix well.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. About 45 min. to an hour.
- Now you’re going to roll the dough out into a rectangle. I don’t have specific dimensions that I go by. It changes every time I make it. Just try to keep it short enough that it will fit on your cookie sheet!
- Once your dough is rolled out like above, you are going to start with one of the long sides, and roll it tightly together. You know, just like I do when making a play-dough snake. Err, I mean just like some people do when using play-dough.
- Place on a cookie sheet.
- Now use a knife and cut slits on the top 1-2 inches apart.
- Run your hand under cold water and then rub on the bread. I do this several times to make sure it is coated.
- Do not cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Before placing in the oven, rub with cold water again.
- Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden.
- Remove from oven.
- Now you are going to mix up an egg wash. Mix together 1 egg white and about 3 tsp. water.
- Use a brush and cover your bread with the wash. I do several coats of this also to make sure it’s good and coated.
- Return your bread back to the oven to finish its goldening process. And yes, I am aware that ‘goldening’ is probably not a word, but I like it, therefore I will use it!
- This last baking usually only takes around 5-8 minutes, but I like to hang around the oven during this time and peak a lot to make sure it doesn’t get too brown!
- When it is golden enough for you, remove and try to let it cool down a little before you start tearing into it! If you can’t resist though, just remember that I warned you it was going to be hot. And delicious! Oh, so, delicious!!
Love from my heavenly smelling kitchen to yours,